Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Dancing, Walking, Training and Swimming with Dogs

Well my Heelwork to Music lesson was rather interesting. The first thing we did was have 15 minutes to make a routine to 1 minute of Elvis and demo it in front of the group. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end and we don’t really have any moves as such. Anyway I did it, it wasn’t great or amazing but I got up and did it. This was I thought going to be my biggest hurdle and now really glad I have done it and wasn’t actually that bad.
Well Dinky wasn’t that bad however I think I might need to attend some dance classes!

I learnt lots about how to present your moves to the judges, using the space available and positioning, along with making sure you include time/beats to change from doing one movement to another.
So I’ve got loads to work on, I have decided to do leg weaves with Dinky and see what they look like. I’m also teaching her to go round out wide and to go round close backwards, I think the kitchen table is going to have to go in the shed so I have more training space in the kitchen, we will have to eat on our knees in front of the TV from now on so I can create my masterpiece!!

On Saturday I did some training with my dogs in Heaton Park Car Park which was busy with Dogs, Cars, People and Children, both Dinky and Snoopy worked really well with the distractions. I also did some videoing and saw I have started to turn into a serious silent clicker trainer. This just doesn’t do it for Dinky so I need to start being a bit more ‘fun’ again.

When doing heelwork I’ve found Dinky drops her head as we set off, only for a split second, I think its confidence thing to just look where she is going. I have been clicking as soon as I move, before her head drops, as she is following a hand target and she catches the treat from my hand so the click is keeping her head up to catch the treat. This seems to be working and reckon I just need to build duration. If anyone has any other ideas or tips for this, do tell.

I lost my first customer to the credit crunch this week but I have 3 new really nice dogs to walk that live in a beautiful area and the walks are just fab, I’m completely full now Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with walking. Monday is a long day now with 6 hours of walking then 5 hours dog training. I have to say my legs are aching a bit today.
My diary is full for the next 2 weeks with walking and training, all my Training Classes are full at the moment and puppy classes are booked up till April. Let’s hope it stays like that!

Last night we spent around 15 minutes playing Gena clicker games with the advanced class, I think some of the members are not to sure about it , but it certainly helps you to become aware of the importance of timing of rewards and withholding rewards regardless of if you are using a clicker or not. I will see what my Thursday advanced class think of it!

Water Training starts again at the end of next month and I have just renewed my membership with the Lancashire Rescue Bears. Like I have nothing else to do!!! I’m not looking forward to getting in the water though after such a cold winter brrrrrrrr

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